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Undefeated Oregon Shines in Home Finale
Release Date: 03/16/2014
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EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team remained undefeated Sunday, posting a season-high team score in a tri-meet victory at Matthew Knight Arena. The No. 1 Ducks (5-0) tallied a 286.100 to down Alderson Broaddus and Hawaii Pacific, two programs coached by UO alumni.

Oregon improved its win streak to 26 meets and finished undefeated at home for a fourth straight season. The Ducks also provided a fitting senior day performance for its senior class of Erin Block, Zakia Houston, Natasha Katzaroff, Kelsey Leslie and McKenzie Wilcox.

After an unsatisfying tri-meet victory last week, UO was motivated to execute better while building momentum to close the season with four straight road meets.  The Ducks accomplished exactly that, posting their highest team score since tallying a 286.285 in the first round of the 2012 NCATA National Championships.

“It was a great turnout and a good team performance, so this was a really positive way to close out our home season,” said Houston, a three-time event national champion. “After last week, we wanted to focus on the little things and execute to the best of our abilities and I think we did that today.”

Oregon won all six events and topped the Battlers and Sea Warriors in 19-of-20 heats. The Ducks tallied season-high scores in the acro and pyramid events, and on the team routine.

The Ducks took an early lead by winning all four compulsory heats, scoring a 38.25 on the event. Oregon scored a 9.9 in the pyramid heat and a 9.8 in the toss heat to take the lead.

With a season-best score of 29.000, UO won the acro event and swept the field in all three heats. Oregon’s beat score came in the second heat as Rachael Block, Brooke Gansemer, Nicole Erlichman and Nicole Seybold scored a 9.85

Oregon won the pyramid event with a season-best score of 29.85. UO was stellar in all three heats, posting marks of 9.90, 9.95 and 9.95. At halftime, Oregon led Hawaii Pacific by over three and a half points and Alderson Broaddus by over seven points.

Oregon scored a 29.35 in the toss event with scores of 9.90, 9.75 and 9.70. The Duck’s 9.90 was scored by Shelby Armstrong, Kisa Chapman, Sydnee Walton, Lindsay Hunt and Seybold in the first heat.

Behind Erlichman’s perfect 10 in her six-element pass, the Ducks won the tumbling event by a wide margin. UO scored a 58.100 on the event to improve their lead. Erlichman, a junior and reigning All-American, tallied the Ducks’ second perfect score of the season.

“I’ve been struggling on this pass the past few weeks, so it feels really good to finally get a 10,” said Erlichman. “Knowing that what I did on the floor was good enough for a 10 in the eyes of gymnastics judges is really cool.”

Oregon continued to look untouchable in the team routine, scoring a season-best score of 101.600 on the event in front of a Matthew Knight Arena crowd of 1,342. Oregon improved to 15-0 all-time competing at MKA.

Alderson Broaddus, a first-year program from Philippi, W.Va., is coached by 2010 UO graduate Jacqueline Svadeba. Hawaii Pacific, a first-year program from Honolulu, Hawaii, is coached by 2012 UO graduate Keenyn Won.

Oregon will now travel for its next three meets over spring break, opening with a March 24 contest at Fairmont State - the only other undefeated team remaining in the NCATA. The meet will begin at 3 p.m. (PST) in Fairmont, W. Va. The Ducks will compete at Alderson Broaddus the following day in Philippi, W. Va., before closing their trip on March 29 at Baylor.

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